By Udeme Clement
Rice smugglers carrying out their activities through the creeks have been warned to desist or be ready to face prosecution by the Western Marine Command, WMC, of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, as the command has increased measures in the region to curtail illicit items from coming in through the waterways.
A maritime stakeholder from Oke-Odan community of Idiroko, Ogun State, Mr. Jamiu Adepegba, said efforts by the WMC to secure the waterways were paying off, as smugglers could no longer bring in prohibited items into the country through the creeks, stressing that the Customs Area Controller, CAC, of the WMC, Comptroller Sarkin-Kebbi Mustapha, was making the crossing of rice through the creeks impossible.
He said, “All illegal routes within the creeks have been blocked, boats seized and destroyed, offenders arrested and prosecuted. The CAC has done a lot in terms of the number of seizures and the level of security surveillance on the waterways, such that the marine region is now a no-go area for smugglers. Now the Command needs more operational tools like sea-going vessels and necessary logistics for constance patrol of the high sea”.
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